copyright 2010 blackstarr
In years past, we have never been a family that stayed at hotels when visiting family, even when it came to our first few family reunions. You would drop by the house, set your bags on the floor, and it was back out the door to see others who lived in that particular city. Once the visiting was done and it was time to lay one’s head, it was catch as catch can – first come, first served. All who were not lucky enough to find a bed or sofa, grabbed a blanket and caught a snooze on the living room floor. Never a complaint to be heard.
Today’s generation, in my family, has been spoiled by the modern day conveniences of hotels and motels. It shows no more evidently than when we all sit down to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, when there are out of town guests. Not only is there no place to sleep, but there is also no room to sit at the dining room table, with our big family. Inevitably, one young’un would have to ask the proverbial question “Where am I supposed to sit?” All of the old heads would give him/her the side-eye, awaiting the well-deserved quip from either my mother or one of her sisters: “Sit on your fist and re’r back on your thumb.” Now, first off, “re’r” means “rear”, as in lean. Secondly, it is basically an impossible task to accomplish, and, no – you should not try that. That was of no consequence. It simply means “Just find a corner somewhere and stop worrying me”.
A belt. An ironing cord. The back of one’s hand. A switch. Those are a few of the things things with which we were disciplined. That was in the days before that old “touchy-feely” sh*t came into play. That was in the days when there was no such thing as “calling 911 if your parents put their hands on you” nonsense. And long before the days of the infamous “time out”. Time out? I think that the back of a hand was one of the worst whoopings that one could receive. You probably think that you know what it means to be “b*tch-slapped”, but you have no idea of the meaning of the word unless you’ve been hit upside the head by a parent’s hand. Very humiliating. As humiliating and demeaning as physical beatings can be, when I say that I am all the better for it, I really do mean it. I look back on my graduating class of 200 students, and remember that because of no home-training, about 50 went to the armed services with that being the only job they could get, 50 went to jail and remain there to this day, and 50 are still working as cooks in fast food joints or diners. There, but for the grace of God, go I. The other remaining 50 of us went on to lead productive lives in our respective communities. Upon reflection, there was usually one saving grace. We were always given the chance to weasel out of a beating by heeding the warnings of “If you don’t knock it off, I will cut the blood outta you!” I think that’s pretty much self-explanatory. Peace.
copyright © 2008 freedom
Photos from hometown-inn.com and coaches-choice.com, respectively.
No coresponding music today, so, enjoy the sound of “Marimba”, by Paul Hardcastle.